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 Parliament approves opening KGB archives. VIDEO

The Verkhovna Rada voted to open up the Ukraine's archive of Soviet-era KGB files to the public, which could reveal decades' worth of information on secret arrests, “disappearings” and the intricate operations of Ukraine’s KGB wing. The bill passed by 261 votes of the parliament's roughly 420 members.

Under the bill, titled "On access to the archives of the repressive organs of the communist totalitarian regime during 1917-1991," the information would be transferred to the Institute of National Remembrance and be declassified, Censor.NET reports citing International Business Times.

Reacting to the news, some social media users talked about their hopes of finding information on relatives who were persecuted by the Ukrainian KGB during the Cold War. The public will be able to submit requests for information to the Institute of National Remembrance.

The Ukrainian KGB, or Committee for State Security, operated directly under the Soviet-wide KGB, headquartered in Moscow. Each Soviet republic had its own wing of the security service, which was known for the brutal persecution of dissidents. Individuals were often executed or given long prison terms in Siberian gulags, where many died. The Ukrainian KGB was transformed into the modern Security Service of Ukraine, the SBU, following the fall of the USSR.

The archives of a handful of other Soviet-era state organizations also will be declassified and made available to the public, including the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage, the Ukrainian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution, speculation, sabotage and malfeasance, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Cassation and the Supreme Cassation Tribunal.

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